Global Dental Market - Factors Influencing Growth

Published Date : Jul 14, 2014

Dentistry is a branch of medical science devoted to the study, maintenance and treatment of gums, soft and hard tissues, teeth, and oral cavities, and other adjacent structures in the mouth. Maintaining a healthy mouth and teeth is integral to our overall health, and this is where dentists come into the picture. A dentist is a trained medical practitioner who specializes in the treatment of diseases related to our teeth and gums. The proliferation of bacteria and germs in our mouth can cause various problems such as the loss of teeth, cavities in the teeth, as well as gum inflammation, and bad breath. One of the most common dental problems that people face is tooth decay. Dental decay or caries can not only be painful, but if left untreated, could spread to other health healthy teeth and mar their functioning as well.

Overall, it is important to maintain a certain level of oral hygiene to alleviate the risk of dental problems. Poor oral and dental health could negatively impact our ability to chew food and swallow it. Besides impacting out nutrition-gaining functions, poor dental health could also cause other self-esteem-hampering problems such as bad breath. 

The development of the dental market 

Dental problems differ from one age group to another, and are often reflective of our eating habits and lifestyle. These problems can be avoided with a basic level of regular dental care that may often involve the use of fluoride-based products. Also, medical practitioners recommend that you visit your dentist regularly so as to keep a check on the status of your dental health. This helps prevent tooth decay and other diseases of the gum. 

The overall dental market [] can be bifurcated into two different segments: dental consumables and dental equipment. 

Let’s take a look at each of these markets separately:

  • Dental consumables: The dental consumables market is among the largest in the dental industry. Despite being the largest, it is also one that holds high potential for growth in the overall dental industry mainly because dental diseases are growing in numbers globally, and awareness about the same is growing simultaneously. Another key factor to consider here would be a growing geriatric population. These people have a higher chance of facing dental problems, especially those associated with the weakening of gums and tooth loss. On the other hand, the younger population tends to lean more towards availing dental aesthetics services such as tooth correction, tooth whitening and polishing, and smile design. There is a growing increase in the number of dental practitioners and dental clinics, which to some extent helps fill up the demand-supply gap. But, there could be some factors restricting the growth of this market. These include: limited disposable incomes, economic downturn, and limited insurance coverage for dental procedures.
  • Dental equipment: The dental equipment market, on the other hand, is a large one with many segments and sub-segments. However, for the purpose of simplicity, it can broadly be classified based on products and based on geography. Dental equipment by product type can be further classified as: laboratory machines, dental lasers, systems and parts, radiology equipment, dental hygiene devices, and others. Some of these devices, in no particular order include: cast machines, CT systems, compressors and vacuums, suction units, light cure, dental chairs, hand pieces, and scaling units. The market for dental equipment could, however, be affected due to factors such as no insurance coverage and the high costs involved. 

Overall, there are a number of mergers and acquisitions that have shaped the dental market and this trend is likely to continue, as consolidation is key to growth. Some other factors such as the growing adoption of CAD/CAM technology can also be attributed to the growth of the dental market.

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